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Twitter has been trying for years to jumpstart user growth, and now the company is rolling out a series of changes designed to make the service easier and more intuitive.
On Tuesday, the company unveiled some tweaks to help people share more within the 140-character limit, and to encourage them to share more and richer content.
To make more room for people to write in their tweets, @names and media attachments will no longer count toward 140-character limits. That change is designed to allow people to have conversations with bigger groups, while leaving room for actual text, and to talk about the photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or other attachments. The changes have been expected for quite some time, many already alluded to by CEO Jack Dorsey.
Twitter also addressed a long-standing complaint: Now, starting a tweet with a user name will reach all users rather than just shared followers with the person you're tweeting. In other words, users no longer have to put a period before the @name of someone to widely broadcast a tweet.
The final tweak seems like an obvious one: Now you'll be able to retweet or quote yourself.
"We're looking at the company goals overall; refining, to make the platform more intuitive, making it even faster," said Leslie Berland, Twitter's chief marketing officer, who started just a few months ago.
"I'm focused on telling the story of Twitter, to deepen engagement for people already using Twitter, and for people not using Twitter today," she said.
Berland said these changes will make a notable difference. "I think it's going to deepen the engagement; once people come to the platform it will be way more intuitive to them. Everything we do is tied to the feedback we get from our community."
Still there are questions about whether these changes, and others made over the past year, can actually help the service gain users. Berland is planning a full ad campaign, what she called "digital marketing and beyond," to get new people to try the service, hoping these changes will help keep them.
With the company's stock down roughly 60 percent this year, it's under more pressure from Wall Street to deliver. Hours before Tuesday's announcement, the stock was downgraded to "sell" by analysts at MoffettNathanson, saying "the small likelihood of a meaningful payoff doesn't justify owning the stock here."